Our series on networking groups for new lawyers wraps up with Connections Networking Group Limited or “Connections” as they’re known. They describe themselves as ‘a networking organisation which brings together professional advisers and entrepreneurs’.
We caught up with their Chief Executive Alexander Lamley who explained what the group has to offer.
So, first question: What is your role within your organisation and how did you initially join?
I’m the Chief Executive. I joined Connections as a member many years ago when it was just an informal club. I took over operations three years ago and we have grown and become a structured group.
What has been the most beneficial aspect of being a part of your organisation?
Working with and getting to meet so many great and interesting people. From sake tasting with local Japanese restaurant owners, partnering with the science festival or working with businesses to hanging out with Robert Carlyle for the evening, Connections really has generated some great opportunities to meet new people.
What has been your favourite event so far and why?
My favourite event is also the event we attract most attendees for – our “Misconceptions” event. We have a panel of five speakers, each from a different discipline; typically, a banker, lawyer, accountant, PR or patent attorney etc. We shake up the panel regularly though! Each speaker has to present their misconceptions of what another speaker does for a living! It is always a good mix of education and hilarity.
How do you support new lawyers in the early stages of their career?
As an organisation we actively pursue opening up the professional service sectors to one another. Lawyers can learn from the people working in finance, banking, accountancy and other sectors what it is like to work in that sector and what it involves. It assists with building contacts, understanding when and who to contact for referrals and encourages outside of the box thinking.
As a group we also try our best to always promote and facilitate networking. Our events provide an excellent place to build networking skills as well as learn about interesting topics and entrepreneurial skills.
What would be your advice for new lawyers looking to improve their network?
The best way to meet people at an event is to go on your own. That way you won’t be tempted to stick with your colleague or friend all evening.
If unsure about how to start a conversation with someone, look for the person in the room that looks uncomfortable and go and save them. They’ll thank you for it!
What’s next for the organisation?
We have recently increased our team with the addition of an events and operations manager based in Edinburgh as well as an events co-ordinator in London. In 2016 Connections will be hosting events in Glasgow and Edinburgh and will also be launching in London. We are very excited!
How can new lawyers find out about your upcoming events?
We have a website and have Linkedin groups for each city we currently operate in. Our Twitter handle is @ConnectionsScot and you can email our team at email@example.com if you would like to ask us a question.